Monday, August 6, 2012

WE HAVE BARBADOS CHERRIES

Well what do we have here?  Apples?  Cherry tomatoes?  Cherries?  No, they are a fruit called the "Barbados Cherry" or also "Acerola Cherry". Not actual cherries though, they are just called that because they look like them.  It's a perennial fruit tree/bush native to Barbados and the Caribbean, that grows dozens of these little bright red (and dare I say, beautiful) fruits.

They start off as these pink blossoms that, as a side note, smell wonderful. They fruit and ripen at different times so the tree has blossoms, unripe and ripe fruit on it at the same time. They go from blossom to fruit in about 25 days.  It can be grown as a tree up to 15' high, or an easily managed shrub.  Ours is currently a shrub, ha.



They look kind of like beautiful, perfect red apples in this picture don't they?  Of course with no frame of reference you can't really determine the size.  See the picture below, they are about the size of an actual cherry.  Being very high in Vitamin C (supposedly the highest concentration of ANY fruit), they are pretty healthy too!
As for taste, they are a bit sour and a bit sweet.  I would describe the flavor as something like a cross between a cherry, a peach or apricot, with a little lemon sourness.  They have 3 small seeds inside and there is no easy way to to cut them up and de-seed them.  Supposedly they make an awesome jelly and hopefully next year, when we have way more coming off the tree, we can try that out.  Right now it's about a dozen for a harvest.  It's definitely an unusual fruit but since it (apparently) grows so well in our zone, I might just have to put another one or two in the ground.  When I find something that works with our weather down here, I want to have more than just one.  If you can grow them in your zone, I would heartily recommend this great little fruit.

12 comments:

Jenny said...

Interesting. Looks very much like crab-apple.

Texan said...

I would plant more too since they do well there. ;O) I think we are just a bit to far north for them to survive here. I read a mature tree will take as low as 28 degrees. But we can go below that at times, to bad or I would try one!...

Mary Ann said...

It's a very shrub... er... uh... tree, isn't it???

kymber said...

i have never heard of them before? but they are very beautiful. i wonder if there are more things that you can do with them than just make jelly. i am going to have to google some recipes.

your friend,
kymber

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

Yum! I can't wait to see what recipes Kymber shares.

Adrienne said...

Acerola is very popular in Brazil. We usually drink it as a juice. I have never seen it as a jelly.

Frugal Living UK said...

I would try a jelly with them. Very pretty fruit.

Kev Alviti said...

I've not come across these before, the frost would probably kill it over here on a bad winter!

1st Man said...

I've never seen a crabapple, I'll have to look that up. Are crab apples edible? Or usable?

1st Man said...

Hmm, maybe you could put one near the house where you could throw a sheet over it if you had to? I am currently looking for more but having trouble finding them this year. Last year when I got this one there were dozens at the garden centers. Of course I have only been to two, maybe they are just out. I'll go roam around this weekend and see if I can find some.

1st Man said...

Ha, I gave no frame of reference huh? It's a bushy tree.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone grown them in uk?